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Graphics GallerySolar and Lunar Eclipses

Planet Animations



Sun: Venus Transit in Year 1769 AD

GeoLongitude -> -149.61 Degree,
GeoLatitude -> -17.56 Degree,
TimeZone -> -10]; (* Tahiti *)

This animation shows the motion of Venus across the solar disk during a rare transit. This transit occurred in 1769, and an expedition lead by Caption James Cook was sent to Tahiti in the South Pacific to witness the event.

{hour, 9, 16, 0.5}]

Do[PlanetPlot3D[Sun, {1769,6,3,hour,0,0},
ViewVertical -> Zenith],
{hour, 9, 16, 0.5}]

The transit began at 09:15 on 1769 June 3.

EclipseBegin[Sun, Venus, Earth,

The transit ended at 15:34.

EclipseEnd[Sun, Venus, Earth,

Moon: Lunar Cycle

SetLocation[ (* Champaign, Illinois *)
TimeZone -> -5,
GeoLongitude -> -88.2*Degree,
GeoLatitude -> 40.1*Degree,
GeoAltitude -> 0.200*KiloMeter];

The phase of the Moon changes during the course of the 29.5 day lunar month. This animation shows the changing phase.

Do[PlanetPlot3D[Moon, {1997,9,d},

Moon: Libration

During the course of a year, each full moon is slightly different. Sometimes you can see further round the lunar edge than at other times. This effect is known as libration. Although the Moon rotates on its axis at constant rate, the rate it moves around the Earth is not constant because the orbit is elliptical. The average rate is the same in both cases, but the varying orbital rate causes the libration effect.

This animations shows both the effect of libration and also the changing apparent size of the Moon - its elliptical orbit changes its distance to the Earth.

Shading -> False,
PlotRange -> {{-1,1},
                 {-1,1}} 0.3],

Earth: Solar Eclipse of Year 585 BC

GeoLongitude Rule 30 Degree,
GeoLatitude Rule 40 Degree,
TimeZone Rule 2]; (* Asia Minor *)

In the year 585 B.C. there occurred a famous total solar eclipse. It happened over Asia Minor somewhere in Turkey.

On the day of the eclipse the Medes and the Lydians, about to commence battle, make peace after witnessing the total solar eclipse and taking it as an omen (or so the story goes).

Here is an animation showing the penumbral shadow of the Moon passing over Europe. The black dot in the center of the moving shadow is the umbral shadow or the point of total eclipse.

ViewPoint -> Earth[30, 40, 100000],
    ViewVertical -> NorthCelestialPole],
{m, -24, 141, 15}]

Here is an animation showing what the armies of the Medes and the Lydians saw.

Do[PlanetPlot3D[Sun, {-584,5,22,16,m,0},
        ViewPoint Rule TopoCentric,
        ViewVertical Rule Zenith],
{m, 21, 141, 10}];

Mars: 24.6 Hour Rotation

Mars rotates every 24.6 hours. Here is an animation of the Martian rotation as seen from Earth on 1998 January 1.

{1998,1,1, hour,0,0}],

Here is a graphic showing the northern polar ice cap of Mars.

PlanetPlot3D[Mars, {1998,1,1},
ViewPoint -> NorthCelestialPole];1;


Jupiter: 10 Hour Rotation


Here is an animation showing the 10 hour rotation of Jupiter. You can see the Great Red Spot in the southern hemisphere of Jupiter. Approaching from the left, in green, is the moon Io which eventually passes in front of Jupiter. It's shadow on the Jovian disk can be seen at this time. The darker green object is the moon Europa moving from behind Jupiter. Eventually Europa moves out of the shadow of Jupiter and becomes a brighter green in the graphic.

ViewPoint Rule Earth,
PlotRange Rule {{-1,1},{-1,1},
{-1,1}}*72000 3.,
PlotRegionRule {{-0.5,2},{-1,2}}],


Saturn: 29.5 Year Orbit

It takes Saturn 29.5 years to orbit the Sun. Although the plane of the rings around Saturn is fixed, we on Earth see the rings from a different perspective during the 29.5 year orbit. At times the rings become edge on as seen from Earth.

Do[PlanetPlot3D[Saturn, {year,1,1}],
{year, 1987, 2015, 2}]


Graphics GallerySolar and Lunar Eclipses